I am experiencing, for the first time in several years, seasonal burnout. On the one hand, I am extremely grateful for the business. On the other hand, this isn't what I thought I would be doing three years after graduation with a Masters Degree.
I'll get to the seasonal burnout in a minute, but first I want to address disappointment. I'm disappointed. See.....I spent 4 years getting a Masters Degree. During that time, I focused on my studies, and not my work as a full time professional photographer. I figured it like this: the photography industry is going in a direction I don't wish to follow, so this career change is coming about at the right and perfect time. I will get my Masters, become a coach/retreat facilitator/workshop queen and release with gratitude that other career that made such a good living for me for 30 years.
So I got my Masters Degree....three years ago. Promptly began marketing myself and my skills as a coach, designing and holding workshops and doing retreats. Except, I wasn't getting enough business to pay my bills. Disappointment. I wrote a book (www.newthought12steps.com) and published it. Royalties are....well, not what I expected them to be. More disappointment.
I figured by this point I would be making a living from almost full time work in my new career, and part time work as a professional photographer. Instead, it is the other way around. The gratitude is that I am making enough money to pay my bills, the disappointment is that in spite of marketing my little heart out, my new career seems to be stuck in a rut.
But I know a couple of things about disappointment and while I've been known to furnish my ruts, I also knew a few things about getting out of ruts. I write this to affirm it for myself, and for you, just in case you might be experiencing the same thing.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in our lives by mistake. All of it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the awesome, the beautiful, happens because some inner and much greater part of us has called us to make the decisions we make and do the things we do, to get to where that greater inner self wants us to go. I am not here by mistake and neither are you.
The key is to, as Henry David Thoreau said, advance confidently in the direction of your dreams. No matter what. Never lose sight of the dream. Never stop affirming it. Never stop taking the action to move towards the direction of your dreams.
That's what I'm doing and that is what I will continue to do. My dream is to make a full time living helping people achieve their dreams through coaching, workshops and retreats. Until I can do that, I will continue to earn my keep through professional photography. Because ironically, the industry seems to be turning around and once again excellence in skill and craftsmanship seems to be making a comeback. And....I'm doing a retreat..in October. You should come, it will be awesome. Here's the info: http://karenlinsley.com/?p=2508
And in case you are curious, or you need a professionally done business portrait for your business (because having a good head shot means credibility), or a great family portrait, or some wedding photography, check out my photography web site: www.imageangels.com
Don't ever forget your dream. If you can dream it, you can do it, and you are worth it.
Oh...and the burnout? Take a few days off. I am!